Jon and I are both huge lovers of Las Vegas. We’re both big kids at heart, so being able to enjoy a few days drunk in adult Disneyland is always a delight to us. We took our first trip together in 2011, and then went again with a big group of friends a couple of years later. When the opportunity arose to return at a really good price, we jumped on the idea. So, after just enjoying 5 days in Las Vegas, we’ve returned. A little tired, a little hungover – but 100% worth the ride.
We hit some shows, some bars, and a whole slew of restaurants! For all of our stories, tips, and semi-sober reviews; Check out our detailed trip report below.
Our flight out from Toronto is 8:10pm via Air Canada. We are unable to pre-check in via their App – which, after some web-sleuthing I realise is because one of us was likely flagged for additional security. Yuck. We reluctantly head for the airport earlier than we normally would to allow extra time for security-check shenanigans.
We used Park n’ Fly – Valet – even though I hummed and hawwed about it (last time we flew, we parked right at the airport and it was super-convenient) – we’d been given a voucher that was won on the local radio station Q107, so we thought we’d give it a try. It turned out to be very easy, and hardly added any time to our trip. It ends up being almost $100 cheaper than the airport, so if you’re looking to save – this is a great, and still convenient option.
We get to the airport, and immediately hear someone on the overhead warning of extended delays at U.S. customs. Great. We immediately haul ass to the Air Canada booth to get our boarding passes, fingers crossed that there isn’t a more serious problem.
We are able to print everything out via the self-serve kiosks, and I notice Jon has the dreaded S.S.S.S on his boarding pass. I’m secretly hoping this additional screening is going to get us pulled from the regular line, but when we get to security – not so much luck. We are sent to a holding area because they are too backed up.
In the holding area, everyone is organized by flight time. And we stand there until they let one line at a time through to the real security line. I love airports. A line, to a line, to a line.
So, some more waiting occurs, until someone eventually notices Jon’s S.S.S.S. This gets us pulled to a much shorter line – which is at first exciting, but I soon notice the dreary looks on the 8 or so faces that are already there and realise it is not a very nice line to be in. And so we wait. For at least an hour. Not a single person has been called from our line. No one has come to talk to us. Finally, the girl directing the normal line-ups, which have emptied and re-filled several times around our line of 20 people, tells her supervisor that the ‘X’ line hasn’t moved at all. And finally someone comes and starts pulling us, one by one.
About two hours in, we’re finally standing at the duty free. I am so happy we decided to leave early for the airport. I dread to think what would have happened if we ended up in that line with less time to kill. We stock up on the essentials; tequila, bourbon – a baguette and a booster juice before the plane leaves.
We land at just after 10pm Las Vegas time (-2hours to Toronto), grab our luggage and head towards the taxi line. We’re marching through the airport when a man comes up to us and says ‘taxi, taxi?‘ We stop – he offers us an ‘uber‘ for $30 flat rate to the Wynn. We’ve taken cabs from the airport to the Wynn before – it can be anywhere from $20-30 less tip – so we say yeah, having no idea how legit this guy is. He takes our bags for us, which is very nice – and we head outside, walk past the pick-up area and into the parking area. He loads our luggage into a black van. When in Vegas, right? But despite the slightly creepy offer, he turns out to be very nice. He does have some uber-like contraptions in his van so I can only assume he really is an uber driver and was not out to murder us. All is confirmed when we arrive safely to the Encore at the Wynn.
We steer our way to the check-in desk both high on exhaustion and flashing lights. We’d called ahead earlier in the day to let them know we’d be checking in late and to request a non-smoking room, preferably on a higher floor with a view of the strip. It was a gamble asking for the upgraded view for free – and when the check-in hostess whipped out a book with floor plans of their super deluxe and out-of-our-price-range suites, I knew a free upgrade was not in the cards. We eventually talked her out of the penthouse and into a panoramic view room for an additional $35 a night. We scored the 50th floor, and the view was worth it.
While unloading some of our crap in the room, we order up some room service – (side note; both Jon and I are vegan – one of the key deciding factors as to why we always stay at the Wynn. Every restaurant, including room service, has a Vegan/Vegetarian menu.) we get two Wynn burgers with french fries and chocolate milkshakes.
After our burgers and a few glasses of duty free liquor, we head down to get reacquainted with the Wynn and Encore casinos. They greedily take both of our money and send us up to bed. It’s about 3am Vegas time when we finally hit the pillow.
We are typically early risers in Vegas – but today, I rise at 7-am, click the super cool touch-screen remote to close the curtains and head back to snoozeville. Jon wakes up in time to reschedule our lunch reservation from 12p to 1:30p. Eventually I role out of bed and into the bathtub. We then head down to the Country Club restaurant inside the Wynn. After requesting the vegan menus, they bring us out vegan-friendly bread and butter, which was a very thoughtful touch. Yay, bread! (I tip for bread.) I order the risotto and Jon orders a tomato salad with a side of balsamic Asparagus. Everything is good and light. We leave feeling fancy and not like fatties.
It is here I should probably note that we splurged on food quite the atypical bit on this vacation. In addition to the fact that we hardly ever get to enjoy good vegan food (it’s always; can you make this? can you omit that?), we also booked a really good package for the trip, which came with a $200 resort credit at the Wynn/Encore AND a free ticket to ‘Showstoppers!’, the new show at the Wynn. Please note that elsewhere, we are complete low rollers. Penny slots, FTW.
After lunch, we head to the concierge desk to find out about the ticket costs for an additional ticket to ‘Showstoppers!’ as we’ve kind of winged this vacation and don’t really have anything planned. This is our third time to Las Vegas, and our second time as a couple. We’d previously seen Le Reve, the Cirque Du Soleil style show at the Wynn – and were interested to see the Vegas-style musical numbers of Showstoppers. Neither are really our bag, but heck- there was plenty of time for walking, eating, and drinking!
After lunch, we walk over to the CVS at Treasure Island for some essentials. This CVS is new to us this trip – before we would have walked through Fashion Show Mall or down to the Walgreens past the Venetian. This CVS is quite a lot closer than the others – we hit it a few times during this trip. We grab, O.J, Vitamin Water, Energy Drinks, Gatorade and head back to the Encore. I also stop and get my fortune read. Because that’s what adults do when they are carrying 20 pounds worth the mixers. Make pointless side stops.
Showstoppers has an early showtime. I’m pretty sure it’s so the sound doesn’t travel in-between the two theatres as Le Reve lets in as soon as Showstoppers lets out. We quickly change into our fancy dress for the 7:00pm door time. We don’t have time for dinner, so we plan to grab a bite after the show.
Showstoppers is a unique show in that it’s only musical numbers. There is no storyline, no drama. Just 4 powerhouse singers with a backing cast and an orchestra. They sing quite a few numbers straight from old broadway hits, quite a few that in my youth I’m not all that familiar with. The target audience was definitely a little older than Jon and I – I saw quite a bit of toe-tapping, finger wagging, and white-haired heads bobbing knowingly to the music throughout the audience. We clapped, we laughed, overall we enjoyed the spectacle – and when the show was over we hurried out in search of food and libations.
We headed to Andrea’s, an asian style lounge in the Wynn. They set us up in a super-cool private booth, which is completely secluded from the rest of the restaurant. This turns out to be great news for me- as I have zero table manners and am a 6 year old when you give me a set of chopsticks. We order the vegan Gyoza to share, I get the Tofu sushi roll + Shoestring potatoes and Jon gets the Tofu entrée. We also order some cocktails, Jon gets a Moscow Mule and I order the Sinatra Smash which is just basically booze with muddled fruits in it. I leave full and tipsy. Everything is delicious – apart from the shoestring fries which are murder-hot. I make Jon eat them while I taste-test his entree. Several times.
We wander back to our room to snack a few duty-free cocktails before heading back down to the casino. We think about wandering the strip but we’re both pretty lazy and full. We go on a hunt for the Beetlejuice slot machine which the Wynn had on our previous visit. (If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a video slot to the theme of Beetlejuice. You know, the ghost with the most.) We find it finally, and I give it all my money. Side note: There are very few Beetlejuice slots on the strip. I kept my eyes peeled in every casino. We only found 1 in the Wynn and 1 in Casino Royale. That’s it. Wonka’s everywhere, mind you.
It’s kind of fuzzy what happens at this point. We drink and gamble for a bit, and eventually make our way back towards the room. We plan on touring the strip in the morning, so we try to tuck in early and sleep the booze off. We make it back to the room at about 4am, confused as to why our wallets have emptied themselves.
ONWARDS, TO PART TWO!